Exactly 60 years ago, on 5th May 1945, the Prague Uprising against the German occupiers began here in the very building that houses Radio Prague. "Calling all Czechs" went the now legendary appeal over the airwaves, as defiant radio journalists here at our headquarters in Vinohradska Street, called on the people of Prague to rise up against their occupiers. In the three days that followed over 2,000 Czechs lost their lives in intense street fighting that focused more than anywhere else on the radio building.
Having lived in one of the grey prefab housing estates on the outskirts of Prague for most of my life, I continue to be amazed at how much history surrounds me now that I have moved closer to the centre. The buildings in Vinohrady, the district where I live and work, are in fact only around a hundred years old but the last century has been crammed with events which have left their marks everywhere.
It's official: one year shy of six decades since the Czech national radio headquarters in Prague came under fire from occupying Nazi forces, - and three and a half decades since the Soviets trained their guns on Ceskoslovensky Rozhlas - the rather uninspiring, functionalist-style building on Vinohradska Street has been named a cultural landmark.
We don't usually use archive recordings for Witness, but today we'll make an exception. This year is the 65th anniversary of the tragic day in March 1939, when German troops marched into Prague, beginning six years of Nazi occupation. At the time, Franta Kocourek was one of Czechoslovak Radio's star reporters. Four days after Bohemia and Moravia had been declared a "Protectorate of the German Reich", he reported live on the huge military parade that the Germans had organized on Prague's Wenceslas Square. He made no attempt to conceal his sense
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